What Is Cheese Fondue?
Popular during the winter months, cheese fondue is a traditional Swiss melted cheese dip served in a heated fondue pot (or caquelon). One pot serves multiple people, who gather around it to dip cubes of white bread into the hot cheese with their long fondue forks. With ingredients that include Swiss cheeses and wine, cheese fondue is known for its rich flavor and creamy texture and can be enjoyed as an appetizer or a main course.
A Brief History of Cheese Fondue
Throughout time people have loved cheese, especially luscious, melted cheese. The origins of cheese fondue can be traced back to a 1699 Swiss cookbook that contained a recipe called Kass mit Wein zu kochen—meaning "to cook cheese with wine." This recipe mixed wine with grated cheese to make a dip that could be used with bread.
The name “cheese fondue” (or fondue de fromage) appeared later in a 1773 French cookbook with the recipe Fondue de Fromage, aux Truffes Fraiches, a recipe for cheese souffle with truffles. Not until 1875 was a recipe published for the melted cheese dip itself, though by then cheese fondue had become a popular Swiss dish. Fondue reached America in 1964 by way of the World’s Fair in New York where it was first served at the Swiss Pavilion.